Tag Archives: Uechi-Ryu


4 Feb
While the within article addresses a specific attribute unique to the Sanchin Kata of Okinawa Karate-Do, I believe it would benefit any reader who seeks inspiration in the daily struggle to endure the difficulties that life puts in our path. By so enduring these difficulties one will ultimately find the wondrous beauty that unfolds along the path of life’s journey.

For my Karate-Do readership, I submit that the exact methodology of Sanchin Kata that one practices is immaterial when compared to the importance of the attributes to be learned and encountered through the Kata. Thus, while I learned the Sanchin Kata contained in the Mokuroku No Kata (Catalogue of Kata) of Goshin-Do Karate-Do as taught by Shihan Thomas DeFelice (Ku-Dan, Menkyo Kaiden) the attributes apply equally to the Sanchin methodology of traditional Goju-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu, Isshin-Ryu, Pang-noon Gai Ryu and the other traditional Karate-Do styles. It is my contention that no methodology of Sanchin is superior or inferior to the other. The importance of the Sanchin Kata is the presence of unique attributes to be obtained through regular practice and performance of the Kata and, most importantly, the pure heart of the performer. Within the context of traditional Okinawa Karate-Do one attribute of the Sanchin Kata is that it, inter alia, conditions one physically and mentally to endure pain so as to (when necessary) be able to inflict pain in the course of defending oneself. The ability of Sanchin Kata to allow one to endure physical, spiritual, and I submit, metaphysical, attack, pain or discomfort is exemplified in a poem concerning the water ladle utilized in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony (Cha-No-Yu).

 This poem is by an anonymous author. The water ladle is emblematic of the physical hardships one is capable of enduring through regular practice of the Sanchin Kata and the state of mind called “Mushin“. It is as follows:

The dipper that passes to and fro between

The hells of heat and cold

Has no mind of its own and

Suffers not at all.

I hope the poem inspires all to endure what they feel they cannot. It is said “To bear what one perceives one cannot bear is really to bear.” In this spirit, endure the hardships of life, for in so enduring, the beauty of this wonderful existence will reveal itself. Walk with certainty on your life’s path and perform the Sanchin Kata at least daily with a sincere and pure heart.

In developing my ideology & methodology of Jiriki Kata-Do (The Way of (attaining) Inner Salvation Through Kata), I have evolved this attribute of being able to endure pain (physically, emotionally & mentally). The evolutionary result is a new contextual paradigm for Sanchin Kata and other unique Kata of Okinawa Karate-Do. This paradigm is designed to enhance the human condition not only physically and spiritually but also within the metaphysical component of interconnectivity with the universe’s physical environment and consciousness.


Sanchin Kata on the Lower Salt River, Tonto National Forest, Arizona

Here is a link for a promotional video about my Sanchin Kata & Jiriki Kata-Do DVD filmed in the Tonto National Forest. Arizona. Please see the “SANCHIN DVD & BOOK” page tab above for information on how to purchase the DVD.

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-pC-tPUrYE

For now, I remain sincerely yours in the quest of Sanchin and Jiriki Kata-Do,


Sensei John Szmitkowski

I have recently obtained the above beautiful digital Hanko seal. It will be used to formalize and seal all future submissions on this Blogsite, my website and all future e-mails. Anyone interested in either a traditional or digital Hanko seal should visit WWW.TheJapaneseConnection.Com. Mr. Ben Falge is a true master of his craft.

I first read the poem referenced in this article in the following book: Furuya, Kensho, Kodo: Ancient Ways (Lessons In The Spiritual Life Of The Warrior/Martial Artist (O’Hara Publications, Inc., 1996) p. 155. I highly recommend this book to any martial artist. Furuya Sensei’s insights are truly thought provoking. Though I did not know him personally, I was recently saddened to learn that Furuya Sensei passed away on March 6, 2007 while teaching a class at his Aikido Ceneter located in Los Angelas, California.

For more information on my ideology and methodology of Jiriki Kata-Do, please review the articles herein filed in the category “Kata as enlightened meditation“. For those interested in the state of mind of Mushin, you may wish to view my four part article on Mushin by clicking on the category “Martial Ideology Applied To Daily Life” and opening the Mushin series of articles.

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